Daily news summary News

29-11-2004

A Prague court has ordered the Interior Ministry to remove ice hockey association head Vratislav Kulhanek's name from list of StB agents and collaborators.

A Prague municipal court has ordered the Interior Ministry to remove another name from its official list of former communist-era secret police agents. On Monday a judge ruled that there was no proof that Skoda Auto supervisory head Vratislav Kulhanek -- who also serves as the chairman of the Czech Ice Hockey Association -- had knowingly worked for the StB. An official list of StB agents and collaborators was published on the Interior Ministry's Internet site last spring.

The lawyer for 'bugged' Civic Democrat party head Mirek Topolanek seeks official confirmation on accuracy of related media reports.

A lawyer for Civic Democrat party head Mirek Topolanek has asked the ministries of Justice and the Interior for official confirmation on the accuracy of media reports relating to police wiretapping of Mr Topolanek's phone calls and the monitoring of his bank accounts. The lawyer, Tomas Sokol, said he wanted to determine whether his client's right to privacy had been violated. Police revealed that Mr Topolanek's phone had been bugged after a government MP said in September that he had been offered a bribe by two men close to Mr Topolanek in order to help bring down the government in a confidence vote.

Regulator to investigate possible market manipulation after surge in Cesky Telecom share price

The Czech securities market regulator is to investigate possible market manipulation in the trading of shares in Cesky Telecom after they surged 5.13 percent last Thursday following reports - later denied - of interest from France Telecom in the Czech government's 51 percent stake in the telecoms operator. On Nov 25, a business website published a report citing an unnamed source as saying that France Telecom was interested in the Czech telco. The report also said top managers of France Telecom had asked Czech finance minister Bohuslav Sobotka for a meeting.

Senate approves amendment to energy law aimed at fully liberalizing market by 2007

The Czech senate has approved an amendment to the energy law that aims to liberalize the country's electricity and gas markets by 2007. Under the terms of the amendment, large firms will be able to choose their gas supplier as of January 2005. The following year, the market will open to smaller firms. By the end of 2006, the entire market is to be fully liberalized. The amendment also calls for the separation of transmission and distribution networks on electricity and gas markets by 2007.

David Copperfield in Prague for 'Intimate Evening of Grand Illusion' tour

The renowned U.S. illusionist David Copperfield has arrived in the Czech Republic, on tour with his new show "An Intimate Evening of Grand Illusion". Among Mr Copperfield's most impressive feats in recent years were making the Statue of Liberty "disappear", walking through the Great Wall of China, and making a 70-ton Orient Express train car vanish in mid-air. The world-famous magician will stage shows in Prague, the Moravian capital of Brno and the northern Moravian city of Ostrava. David Copperfield last performed in Prague in December 1998.

Several top athletes have signed on to a petition calling on the Czech football association leadership to resign due to widespread corruption.

Top Czech athletes joined a petition drive on Monday, calling on the Czech Republic's football association leadership to resign following a protracted corruption scandal. News of the scandal broke in May when police wiretappings revealed attempts to fix soccer matches. Since then, more than two dozen soccer officials and referees have been punished for paying or accepting bribes. The petition, launched by the Sport daily, was signed by three-time decathlon world champion Tomas Dvorak, white-water canoeist and Olympic winner Lukas Pollert and hockey legend Jaroslav Holik. It calls on the association's entire 14-member executive committee to resign immediately.

Weather

We can expect more overcast skies and rain in the coming days with daytime temperatures ranging from 2 to 7 degrees Celsius.

29-11-2004